, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 259-278

Accrual usage to manage earnings toward financial analysts' forecasts

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Abstract

This study examines whether management uses discretionary accounting accruals to move earnings upward toward analysts' earnings forecasts when it appears that earnings before discretionary accruals will fall short of the forecast. An earnings shortfall relative to analysts' forecasts could lead management to fear lower compensation and an increase in the likelihood of job termination. The article finds that firms whose earnings before discretionary accruals are below analysts' forecasts use income-increasing discretionary accruals and do so to a greater extent than do firms whose earnings before discretionary accruals are above analysts' forecasts.